A Preventable Nightmare on Our Shores!
I understand a country not wanting to "just open it's doors" to any refugee wanting to come in, but the policy Thailand now has in place is horrifying! Can you imagine shoving sick little children (or anyone else) back out to sea when in need of assistance? Seasick, malnourished, scarred to death...HORRIFYING! This is going to produce very bad karma back on the Thai people if they continue to enforce this terrible policy. Thank goodness for the human rights groups and media outlets in keeping the world informed, but the real story starts with the cruel dictatorship in the capital of Burma.
Let's not forget that these brutal "leaders" have denied the Rohingya's citizenship for decades, while at the same time encouraging racism and ill treatment from their follow Burmese neighbors. This is the root of the problem and I hope to see more outrage directed at the Burmese on this issue moving forward. Change needs to start at home; but in the mean time I hope that all caring people around the world can keep the pressure on in appealing to the good people of Thailand to change this barbaric "helping-on" treatment of the Rohingya.
David Stonham (USA & Thailand)
Posted by David on January 3, 2013 13:50
Thank you for the numerous pictures.
They help to put a human face on this tragedy instead of just numbers on a sheet of paper.
You can see the desperation, the hopes and dreams, the pain and suffering.
A picture definitely speaks a thousand words.
Thailand sure is no land of smiles to Rohingya.
Posted by Andrew on January 3, 2013 13:59
The faces of those young children - who have no foreseeable future - are haunting.
If you read the stories written by prisoners of the Japanese during WWII, their survival depended largely on the help they got from the locals, who often risked death to give them food and in the case of escapees, shelter and other assistance.
Isn't it time we repaid some of those "favours" to those who are now in need of a little help?
Posted by Phil on January 3, 2013 14:16
This is the Reason President Obama should NOT have been so cordial to Burma.
This has been going on for Years, never mind the recent Ethnic Clensing. So when you wrote "the letter of hope", I knew you wasted your efforts. Why show favoritism to a country like Burma when we go to war to stop dictators like that. ( Saddam Husane )
If I had a voice in Thailand, it would be to create a ( Pit Stop ) Naval Safety Station to help them on their way with proper Medical and food supplies as well as enough fuel to reach their destination. A place to stretch their legs walk on land and lie down without being crowded for 2 to 3 days.
I feel bad for any child that has to live in fear. Children should laugh, play and not have a worry in the world.
Posted by John on January 3, 2013 14:33
Editor Comment:The sad thing is that compassionate sailors and local police decided the children should not continue on from Phuket because it was too risky and now they have begun the journey again - from 300 kilometres further north.
Thanls a lot to the Phuketwan Editor and reporters for interpreting hopeless Rohingya issue desperately. I would also like to thank David, Andrew and Phil who commented the reality of Rohingya boat people suffering.
I would like to ask global community to stand against the brutal Thien Siein Regime to stop genocide on Rohingya and support our call to deploy UN PEACE KEEPING FORCES. If Rohingyas get international protection and justices today every tragedy will be stopped.
Until and unless the criminals are booked for international tribunal the hue and cry of Rohingyas and Kachin people can not be stopped. You can not see any desperate boat people if the Rohingyas get protection.
We have been asking Thai government to give shelter to the Rohingya boat people on humanitarian ground Under the supervision of UNHCR since 2008.
I heard at that time,the concerned authorities tried to find a place in Ranong. During that time,some NGOs diverted the government's positive step to so called "help boat people " unofficially. Since then "helping boat people/HELP IN POLICY " method bred today's big Mafia group of human traffickers .From that time to now Every Rohingigya must have to pay the mafia fee of 2000 USD to get free.
We also ljke to know whereabouts of last group that include some kids and women.
Posted by Maung Kyaw Nu,President,Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand,(BRAT) on January 4, 2013 01:15